How to Analyse and Track Your Competitors’ Facebook Fans
When it comes to social media marketing, Facebook is where it’s at. Over 70 percent of marketers use Facebook to grow their customer base and 42 percent consider their Facebook activities critical to the success of their business—all with good reason.
With 1.23 billion monthly active users, it still holds the biggest slice of the social media pie. Long story short, Facebook matters because Facebook is where your customers are. Whatever your target demographic, it’s a safe bet that it’s well represented on the world’s biggest social network. The numbers back it up:
If your biggest competitor was an early adopter of social media marketing, you have some serious catching up to do. And if you’re starting from scratch, you’ve really got your work cut out for you. Fortunately, there are ways by which you can use your competitor’s existing fan base to your advantage. Let’s take a look at two (and a half) easy-to-access tools designed to help you do just that.
Caveat: This article is by no means a definitive guide. There never has been a one-size-fits-all approach to Facebook marketing, and how you use these (and other) tools will depend on your specific goals for your business.
If there’s one Facebook feature marketers crave most, it’s its high levels of user engagement. Of its millions of users worldwide, 63 percent check in at least once a day while 43 percent log multiple visits daily. And they’re not just lurking, either.
But here’s a comforting thought: just because thousands of users “like” your competitor’s Facebook page doesn’t mean they’re actually engaging with the company or the community. Zephoria tells it like it is:
To find out just how engaged your competitor’s fans are, use Social Lead Freak. It’s a tool that profiles all the active members of a given fan community. What do you do with this information? You use it to create paid Facebook ad campaigns targeted toward those same active users. And when they start noticing you, so will the rest of the Facebook community.
Here’s how it should work, in theory: EdgeRank, the Facebook algorithm that controls what is displayed on users’ News Feeds, favours fan pages with a higher percentage of engaged members. So say your competitor has 5,000 fans, only 500 of which regularly comment on, share, or like their posts. You target those 500 engaged fans and convince 300 of them to like your page. Even if fewer—say 100—become active in your community, EdgeRank will favour your 33 percent over your competitor’s 10, giving you greater exposure in people’s feeds.
Don’t get us wrong—just getting that 33 percent will take some doing. Observing when traffic and engagement are highest for your demographic will help. Generally speaking, Facebook traffic peaks mid-week between 1 and 3 PM, but engagement is highest on Thursdays and Fridays (a difference of 18 percent).
Fanpage Karma: The Nitty-Gritty
Fanpage Karma is an analytics tool that provides insight into what your competitor is doing on Facebook. It’s available in four editions, three of which are paid. The free edition, while limited to one fan page, can already offer plenty of information on the competition:
- KPI Overview. All the basic stats: number of fans, growth rate, mentions, posts per day, engagement and post interaction ratios, and so on.
- Times and Types. This lets you know when your competitor’s fans are most engaged and what kinds of posts they are most likely to like, share, or comment on.
- Top Influencers. This is a goldmine—a list of your competitor’s most active fans, an overview of their activity on the page, and other pages they’ve liked.
- Post History Report. This lets you know which (and what type of) posts on your competitor’s wall generate the most and least interest. Think of this as a guidebook to what you’ll be putting up on your own page.
- Service Level. This tells you how good your competitor is at responding to fan posts and queries. If they’re a bit lax in this area, it could be an opportunity for you to present yourself as another authority in the industry right there on their page. But avoid blatant advertising—it could backfire horribly.
- Competition. This gives you a quick look at how much ground you have to cover in order to overtake your competition. Useful when deciding which areas need your attention most: responding to queries, securing more fans, creating more interesting content, etc.
Fanpage Karma is also available as a Google Chrome extension, which allows you to “Get KPIs” on your competitor’s page without having to leave Facebook. The extension is available free of charge at the Chrome Web Store.
If all that left you overwhelmed, send us a line. We’d love to know how we can help you with your Facebook marketing needs. Got any Facebook analytics tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!
Think Beyond LinkedIn: Insights on Social Recruiting
There’s no denying that when it comes to recruiting, LinkedIn is a real game-changer. The whys are a no-brainer: LinkedIn offers headhunters at-your-fingertips access to the world’s largest professional network for ludicrously low rates. Even the biggest names in industry use LinkedIn for recruitment. It’s effective. And LinkedIn’s got the numbers to back it up.
Their users? 200 million strong (and counting). Their recruiting revenues? $84.9 million. It’s already outdone Taleo and is set to overtake Monster.com in the very near future. As far as we’re concerned, its ultimate takeover of the corporate recruiting market is a foregone conclusion.
Today we’ll be taking a sneak peek at what the social recruiting landscape could look like were LinkedIn taken out of the picture. (Spoiler: It’s not as bleak as it sounds.) While we at Webquacker agree that LinkedIn is an essential tool for sourcing professional candidates, we’re also die-hard fans of thinking out of the box.
But first, we lay the groundwork.
- The talent pool. Imagine a talent pool consisting of members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies and representing over 130 different industries. That’s what LinkedIn is, according to About.com job search and employment expert Alison Doyle.
- The networking. It’s really not so much the talent pool that matters as is it the ease of gaining access to it. For little or no cost, you can join groups at LinkedIn or ask your contacts to activate their networks and grant you access to thousands, if not millions, of promising candidates.
- The built-in tools and recruiting solutions. There’s LinkedIn Recruiter, LinkedIn Job Postings, LinkedIn Employment Branding, LinkedIn Talent Pipeline, and much, much more—a literal arsenal of elegant tools and solutions for all the minutiae of hiring. In simpler terms (that aren’t quite as elegant), LinkedIn is a headhunter’s wet dream.
- Search. LinkedIn search deserves its very own bullet point, because few tools are as efficient as it is at helping you find the right candidate for the job. LinkedIn allows you to search by keyword, by employer, by industry, position, education, references, even by seniority and company size. LinkedIn’s goal, according to Senior Vice-President for Global Solutions Dan Shapiro, is to develop algorithms as efficient as Google’s for LinkedIn’s internal search.
- The cost. This graphic by oBizMedia sums up this last point:
That settles it: LinkedIn is awesome. But despite its popularity among HR personnel and its dominant position as the network of choice, it’s far from being the only player in the social recruiting field:
The Case for Other Networks
According to the Jobvite 2013 Social Recruiting Survey, headhunters use LinkedIn primarily to search for candidates (96%), contact candidates (94%), keep tabs on potential candidates (93%), vet candidates pre-interview (92%), and post jobs (91%). And while it is true that no other social network does these jobs better than LinkedIn, the fact remains that these tactics aren’t, nor have they ever been, LinkedIn-exclusive.
Why are we pushing so hard for other networks? It’s simple, really. LinkedIn has now become a de facto tool for HR. It’s practically conventional. And you need to recognise that the savviest employees (i.e., the kind of employees you know you want on your roster) understand how to use all the tools they have at their disposal to score the best jobs. This means that it’s time for you, the recruiter, to step outside the LinkedIn box.
Below is a rundown of the benefits you stand to reap once you start thinking beyond LinkedIn:
1. Brand building and employee referrals
No other social network is in the same league as LinkedIn when it comes to recruiting, but what they lack in overt hiring activity they make up for in their brand building prowess. That’s what Facebook and Twitter both excel at:
Andrea Stimmel, Director of Business Development at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle puts it like this: “We seek to link ourselves with other like groups [on Facebook], such as law schools. We appear on their pages as a fan and they appear on ours. It’s branding reinforcement. Even if we don’t end up interviewing or hiring someone from one of the groups, we want them to know our name and understand who we are.”
2. Authentic relationships
Scott Allen, social media strategist and coauthor of The Virtual Handshake, believes that it is strong relationships that build business, not large contact databases. Facebook and Twitter are excellent tools for building referral chains, because the less-than-formal setting makes it easy for people to (a) respond openly to queries and (b) stay in touch with valued colleagues.
If you want to brand your company as a good place to work, social media is the way to go. But it’s different channels for different purposes:
And because social media goes both ways, employers can also gain more insight into potential candidates and make sure they’re finding the right hires.
4. Broad audience
This is where Facebook and Twitter really trumps LinkedIn. If you need to disseminate vacancies to a broad an audience as possible in as little time as possible, then by all means tweet or post an update. The caveat is that you’re going to need an efficient filtering system once the queries from potential candidates come pouring in.
The key things to remember about social recruiting are (a) it’s important to explore and leverage all applicable channels and (b) social recruiting is itself only a single collective channel. Ultimately, you’ll need to be as creative as a marketer when thinking of ways to get your message to the right people.
Questions, insights, violent reactions? Let us know in the comments below!
Content Marketing: What Australian Businesses Need to Do
Today we’re putting the spotlight on Content Marketing in Australia: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, a report released by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in cooperation with the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA). The report offers a look at the results of their fourth annual Content Marketing Survey, a study involving 4,397 participating B2B and B2C marketers from Australia, North America, and the UK.
The survey itself offers insights into how for-profit marketers around the globe are using content marketing in the B2B and B2C spheres; however, we’ll take things a step further to give you, our reader, more digestible and actionable takeaways. (Because that’s how we roll here at Webquacker.)
First up, a look at the survey findings.
From this summary of the CMI/ADMA findings, we can get the following facts:
a) Over the past year, content marketing has progressed further volume-wise in Australia than in North America and the UK.
b) Australian marketers are more eager to invest a larger portion of their marketing spend for the next 12 months on content marketing efforts.
c) More Australian marketers have a documented content strategy compared with their North American and UK counterparts.
The report goes on to the say that although the vast majority of Australian marketers implement content marketing strategies, only a third believe that they are making actual headway in this area.
Whatever the reason for this perceived lack of success, the fact remains that the pressure to bring your A-game this 2014 is mounting. What’s a content marketer to do?
1. Provide real value
It should be a foregone conclusion that your content would have some value to offer your consumers, but sadly many businesses are missing this very point of content marketing. A 2013 study by Janrainrevealed that 74% of online consumers get frustrated by low-value content in the websites they visit. Frustrated consumers = fewer conversions.
If that doesn’t hammer it in for you, then this should:
The Internet is getting saturated with content produced by Aussie businesses. Technically speaking, this is a good thing, an offshoot of the growth of our content marketing industry. But this growth in volume means that differentiating your brand via content strategies has just gotten tougher. The solution? Value.
Conversion Champ’s Adarsh Thampy has his own Three-Step Process to Value Creation:
- Experiment. Find your content “sweet spot”.
- Listen. Apply consumer feedback.
- Iterate. Rinse, repeat.
It’s that simple, really.
2. Blog engaging, actionable content
Your blog should be engaging. Kevin Anderson said it best:
So guaranteeing a satisfying visitor experience should be among your top priorities when you blog. But engagement alone won’t be enough to keep your readers hooked. What would really reel them in is a regular stream of actionable content.
Carl Friesen of Global Reach Communications offers the following tips on creating useful content. While his advice centres on getting lawyers noticed by potential clients, the principles apply to any industry:
- Talk about important market trends.
- Discuss developments (such as new legislation) that can affect how your industry works.
- Write comprehensive how-tos.
- Do your own case studies and surveys.
But is a blog really worth this much work? All signs point to yes. Here is a rundown of the figures:
- Company websites with blogs get 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages than those without.
- Companies that publish 15 new blog posts per month get 1,200 fresh leads per month on average.
- Blogging scores B2B companies 67% more leads per month than their non-blogging counterparts; B2C companies, 88% more.
If you’re going to bother blogging (and we really think you should), blog right.
Australian marketers seem to have got this principle down pat, with the average number of content types used pegged at a healthy 13. Of these 13, we’ll take a look at two tactics that are receiving plenty of (well-deserved) attention at the moment.
Infographics work because of the way the human brain works: it processes images 60,000 times faster than it does words. So while the brain automatically filters out 99% of all the stimuli we take in at any given moment, the 1% that does manage to get through includes visuals.
With visual learners making up 65% of the human population, it’s a small wonder infographics draw in so much web traffic.
3.2 Animated Explainer Videos
Animated explainer videos follow the same core principle as infographics but are able to convey much more information in a more easily digestible format. The downside? They’re not the easiest things to produce. The returns are worth it though—conversion rates of up to 144% are no joke.
I don’t want to be bias but the below example of an animated explainer we produced for Winquote SME Finance is a great example of showcasing a number of key elements and on this occasion we have chosen to outline the value proposition of dealing with the business.
Why is it effective? In a little over a two minutes, it delivers the message (business is growing and now needs help with their finance), offers the solution (someone that will handle the entire process for them), and a call to action (Contact them).
4. Don’t be afraid to outsource
This last piece of advice can be a hard pill to swallow. And it’s understandable—after all, nobody knows your business as well as you. The practice has actually gotten less popular over the last few years, with only 1 in 3 companies worldwide outsourcing their content creation in 2013.
So why are we taking this (slightly controversial) stance on outsourcing? Because while it is true that keeping things in-house offers plenty of benefits, outsourcing can easily solve many of the content production challenges faced by Aussie marketers today:
You don’t have time? Outsource. You’re not creating enough content? Outsource. You’re working on a tight budget? Outsource!
John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co., says that a good business owner will realize that the choice between in-house and outsourced work isn’t binary. It is not, nor has it ever been, an either/or question. Why not do both and reap the benefits of each?
Our closing words for today are also from John Hall: “Results are what matter, so be creative, picky, and flexible.”
He was referring to the in-house/outsource debate, but this sentence wraps up our thoughts perfectly. We’d already answered the question of what Aussie businesses need to do. The quote above answers the question of what Aussie businesses need to be.
Have you seen the CMI/ADMA content marketing report for 2014? Let us know what insights you picked up from it in the comments below. And if you’re one of the many businesses who need your content managed for you, feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.